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Visualising digital audio

Visualising digital audio

We recently posted a very brief overview of how digital audio works on the blog. However, there are certain things that are just more convincing when you see them played about with in real time.

Visualising digital audio with an oscilloscope

One of the things that can be quite hard to get past when you see the standard type ‘how digital audio works’ image, is the idea that the quality of the sound will continually improve as you increase the sample rate and word length. We glossed over this a little bit in our post, saying words to the effect that the mathematics takes care of it. For many, that explanation may be sufficient, but what if you want to know more…?

Also, what if you’re concerned about the amount of space all those 24-bit, 96 kHz audio tracks are taking up on your hard-drive? Or the amount of processing power you are using to add those tasty effects when you’re mixing?

Well, if you want to learn more, you can’t really do much better than this video from the xiph.org foundation. It begins by explaining -and showing- why CD quality digital audio is really good enough (although remember what we said in our blog post about perception of inaudible ultrasonic frequencies!), and provides a really rather good explanation of dither, a concept that is perhaps even more difficult to comprehend: “I can reduce noise by adding noise?!”

Watch, learn and enjoy this digital show and tell from an engineer who clearly loves his work!

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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